This drawing is an exercise in still life, picking objects that said something about me. I chose a few things that represent what I like to do in my down time or when I want to retreat from the real world–books, where I retreat into different worlds, encounter different characters, read different stories of different lives; books are something I also wish to write many of. The book in the bottom of the pile is a book on World Mythology, probably my favourite literary subject and something I have always wanted to explore and incorporate into my writing, my choreography, and perhaps, eventually into my art. My eyeglasses are my lens on everything. I grew up needing eyeglasses since I was 8 years old, and although I wore contact lenses for a few years when I was in college and a few years after, eyeglasses were practically an appendage on my face. My China mug, from China, was a Christmas present from an aunt, and represents comfort through the beverages it can hold–from hot cocoa to coffee to a variety of teas, even the occasional cold drink, although I generally take cold drinks from glasses or tumblers. The flower vase is a representation of something old, something tribal and authentic, something beautiful in its simplicity. It is a native bamboo tumbler made in the Southern Philippines, decorated with traditional patterns. It is a reminder that what is new cannot exist without what is old; that new things, new ideas, are rooted in old traditions. The last item in my pile is an orange, a segmented fruit that is presented as a single whole. It is like the world, segmented, capable of being taken apart, with each part as flavourful as the next, yet each segment capable of having a slightly different flavour, texture, juiciness, and colour from the next segment, some segments containing seeds, others without. Every segment connected through an intricate network of veins and held together by the skin. It can be anything from saccharine to bitter, sour, tart, or even flavourless. Even the colour is a combination of two other colours and any two varieties will have different shades, different flavours. It is a microcosm of the world–an orange, not an apple.
This sketch is an exercise in drawing landscapes. I decided to focus on the old barn as my subject with the water and small dam system in the foreground, and the mountains as a backdrop. This let me include the elements of water, mountains, and structure in a single composition.
This is a commissioned work that I did for a colleague at work. He wanted a portrait of himself with his granddaughter at the first and only time he played hockey with her, so that they would both remember the day.
I find covered bridges fascinating, as I do old architecture, so living in the Atlantic Maritimes gives me so many beautiful or striking subjects to practice my drawing on. I look forward to making more trips to photograph and paint or draw scenery, architecture, and people in the Atlantic Maritimes.
Ellen DeGeneres is another person I do admire, for everything she is and everything she does. I just had to do a portrait of her as well. This portrait is the first in my whole series of portraits of people I admire or just simply want to draw.
I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of Drew Barrymore, but this image was just absolutely stunning I had to draw it. It was for an ad in a magazine. It seems tinted yellow because of the light filter on my camera.
Sometimes, I do a sketch just to see if I can do it. When I started sketching portraits, I chose striking personalities or images, mainly of people I admired for some reason or another. Other choices might be of significant historical figures. I makes me feel connected to history in the making. The portrait I will not sketch is of someone whom I can never admire, for many reasons. I did this portrait of Barack Obama, the first African-American president, shortly after his election into office. It was an incredible moment, to see him elected. This does not mean I admire US politics at all, but because of the way it directly affects the rest of the world, I do follow it and have my opinions, which I will not share here. This portrait is now in a private collection.
Nelson Mandela is a man to be admired, and I have admired him and followed his life and career closely. The simplest tribute I could do was to create this portrait.
I started this sketch with pencil, then decided it would look better with colours, and I wanted to try working with coloured pencils, so I did that. Then, I decided to use ink to emphasize the outlines and certain details. I think it turned out very well. This sketch is now in a private collection.
This work is another quick sketch done in summer 2014. I had several fresh fruit and decided I’d make a still life of them as an exercise along with a student. It is now in a private collection.